Houston, TX – The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) applauds United States Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) for introducing the ‘Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act.’ The legislation, H.R. 6570, will ensure the preservation of consumer choice, a fair marketplace, and the continued safe operation of the nation’s 288 million registered passenger and commercial motor vehicles, 70% of which are maintained by independent repair facilities.
As vehicle technology continues to advance, the car companies create new barriers that limit consumer choice and increase the cost to repair and maintain vehicles. The REPAIR Act will reduce these barriers, putting consumers’ interests first.
The REPAIR Act will accomplish this by:
- Preserving consumer access to high quality and affordable vehicle repair by ensuring that vehicle owners and their repairers of choice have access to necessary repair and maintenance tools and data as vehicles continue to become more advanced.
- Ensuring access to critical repair tools and information. All tools and equipment; wireless transmission of repair and diagnostic data; and access to on-board diagnostic and telematic systems needed to repair a vehicle must be made available to the independent repair industry.
- Ensuring cybersecurity by allowing vehicle manufacturers to secure vehicle-generated data and requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop standards for how vehicle generated data necessary for repair can be accessed securely.
- Providing transparency for consumers by requiring vehicle owners be informed that they can choose where and how to get their vehicle repaired.
- Creating a stakeholder advisory committee and providing them with the statutory authority to provide recommendations to the FTC on how to address emerging barriers to vehicle repair and maintenance.
- Providing ongoing enforcement by establishing a process for consumers and independent repair facilities to file complaints with the FTC regarding alleged violations of the requirements in the bill and a requirement that the FTC act within five months of a claim.
“This is an important day for the automotive aftermarket and a long time coming,” said Ed Salamy, Executive Director of the ABPA. “For years, the car companies have been utilizing various methods to eliminate the aftermarket which in turn, affects consumers and their wallets. The REPAIR Act will allow consumers to control the repair process for their vehicles, protect consumer choice, and maintain a strong aftermarket that contributes millions of U.S. jobs. The REPAIR Act compliments the ‘Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act.’ which addresses the issue of car companies abusing design patents on repair parts.”
“Americans should not be forced to bring their cars to more costly and inconvenient dealerships for repairs when independent auto repair shops are often cheaper and far more accessible,” said Rep. Rush. “But as cars become more advanced, manufacturers are getting sole access to important vehicle data while independent repair shops are increasingly locked out. The status quo for auto repair is not tenable, and it is getting worse. If the monopoly on vehicle repair data continues, it would affect nearly 860,000 blue-collar workers and 274,000 service facilities.”
The REPAIR Act is being introduced following three important events regarding consumer choice in repair. In November 2020, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly voiced their support for Ballot Question 1 (also known as Right to Repair) with 75% of the vote, which preserves their right as vehicle owners to have access to and control of their vehicle’s mechanical data necessary for service and repair at the shops of their choice. In May 2021, the FTC released their Nixing the Fix report which highlighted barriers that vehicle manufacturers have instituted to squash a consumer’s right to repair. The FTC strongly supports expanding consumer repair options and found “scant evidence” for repair restrictions imposed by original equipment manufacturers. Finally, in July 2021, President Bident issued the “Promoting Competition in the American Economy” executive order which encouraged the FTC to address anti-competitive repair restrictions.
The ABPA is a proud member of the CAR Coalition which is one of the main driving forces behind both the REPAIR and SMART Acts. To tell your Member of Congress to support the REPAIR and SMART Acts, please visit the CAR Coalition website to fill out the contact form and make your voice heard.
About the ABPA
With more than 135 members, the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) occupies over 400 distinctive locations including collision parts distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and parts recycling plants. ABPA’s members are responsible for distributing more than 80 percent of the independently produced aftermarket crash replacement parts sold to the collision repair trade. For more information about the ABPA, visit www.autobpa.com.